Cocoa Shells as Fuel Source

I have been thinking about it seriously. If it works, the shells as winnowing by-product, would be more than enough for our daily cooking needs. Then, an inspiration for development of shell-fired cocoa roaster.

Way back, when I was disposing a bag of cocao shells. I put some on side of camp fire. Hoping it would produce strong flame.

Why not? Cacao has an average of 50% butter content. During roasting, some are transferred to shells. Butter and other oils, when subjected under enough heat, flames. Candle follow this principle. The wick is soaked in wax. Lighting the wick produce flame. Then melting the solid wax underneath which serves as fuel.

However, it never worked as expected. The part covered with cocoa shells had its flame and ember extinguished. It was the lack of aeration I guessed. The covered part was deprived of oxygen that is necessary for burning.

Now, my plan is glue shells together to firewood shape forms. I never intend creating charcoal briquettes. The heat spent in the process is a waste. I want it all used up for whatever I intend to.

Few months ago, my problem on shell disposal got solved. My uncle and brother were regularly collecting it for their farms. Bringing it back to farmland is recommended as it is good plant nutrient source.

Shells are also good for making tea.  My recent test got a bad result though. I planned more future testing but my colleague warned me for possible ochratoxin contamination. It is a toxin produce by fungi and mostly resides on outer shells. It never degrades under roasting condition.  I need more data about this.


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